Pacific Paddler magazine - October 2011 - (Page 28)

Super Aito “Un… Duex… Trois…” Hundreds of motor-boats and thousands of spectators on land, all counting down the seconds in unison. It felt like the fate of the world rested on the outcome of this timeless battle. “Quatre… Cinq… Six.” Everything seemed remotely familiar. But nothing was clicking. Was this paddling? The sport that I’d committed my life to felt like a shadow of what I was witnessing. “Sept… Huit… Nuef.” He crosses the line and the crowd goes berserk. Possibly the most epic instant in outrigger canoe racing history went down somewhere between sept and nuef, and nobody outside of Pape’ete on August 6th, 2011 knows anything about it. I was at the Super Aito. Lucky enough to have convinced my wife that it was in her best interest to spend the last day of our honeymoon on an 18’ motor boat, not going through the picturesque lagoons of Tahiti’s outer islands, but through Pape’ete harbor and the surrounding area. Dwarfed by 200 other diesel spewing boats, watching the 100 best Tahitian paddlers battling it out to become 2011’s Super Aito Champion. The race started innocently enough with a time trial. Each paddler is traditionally released in one minute intervals. It’s a race against the clock and against the mind. You’re battling only with the ever-present specter of your competitors. After a one hour time trial, Rete Ebb was 1st with a 13 second lead over his soonto-be nemesis, two time 2nd place finisher, Yoann Cronsteadt. Nearly a third of the pack finished within three minutes of Rete’s winning time, Meaning that the race was open to nearly anyone going into day two. At seven the next morning, we were jockeying for position among the hundreds of security patrolled spectator boats to try and see the action up front. For most of the race, it was only between two people, Rete and Yoann. The throng of spectator boats surrounding them was enough to throw off a surfable wake to everyone else behind them. But they were alone, as if in their own private ocean. Dead calm, so every stroke was taken as if 28 Pacific Paddler - October 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pacific Paddler magazine - October 2011

Pacific Paddler cover
HCRA States
40th Annual Queen Liliuokalani
Hui Waa score board
OHCRA score board
Peter Caldwell's Pics
Duke Kahanamoku
Dad Center
To ride Kalehuawehe
Honolulu Elks Keiki OceanFest
2012 IVF World Outrigger Sprint
Kailua Bay Ironman Challenge
Vancouver’s Oceanman
SCORA's endless summer
Super Aito
Watch out for Props
Voyages of Malolo
Core Strengthening for Paddlers

Pacific Paddler magazine - October 2011